The Federal Government’s recent decision to overhaul the immigration system has been cautiously welcomed by the Print & Visual Communication Association (PVCA).
The Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neill recently announced the 2022 Parkinson Review of the country’s immigration system, will result in a significant shake-up of the Government’s migration strategy.
The review addressed a range of issues, including Australia’s reliance on temporary immigration, skills lists, and ageing information technology systems within Home Affairs. The report also highlighted concerns about the complexity of the immigration system and the resulting immigration backlogs.
According to the PVCA, a central challenge for reforming the immigration system is its size, complexity (with over 100 different visas as well as tailored labour agreements) and detailed admission requirements.
The review also emphasised that Australia must develop a more diverse economy to address the challenges of an ageing population and reduced productivity.
Minister O’Neill highlighted several areas that the overhaul would focus on, including scrapping labour market testing rules and facilitating small businesses’ access to the migration program to attract workers.
“The PVCA has long been advocating for a range of amendments to the immigration system. We know first-hand the frustrations being experienced by employers. From our industry’s perspective, the worker migration system has become overly complicated, costly and dissuades employers, particularly smaller businesses, from entering into the process,” PVCA CEO Kellie Northwood said.
“Although not all of the implementation details have been announced, we welcome the review findings and the Minister’s commitment to making purposeful changes.
“To assist our members in what is a complex web of labour related requirements and issues, the PVCA is in the process of delivering an industry specific initiative to provide members with worker related migration services. However, the Government’s proposal to overhaul the system is another necessary component that will hopefully contribute to developing a sustainable channel of workers into our industry.”
Despite supporting immigration options for industry, the PVCA said it will continue to advocate and support industry partnerships across indigenous, disability, corrective service, and more diverse employment sectors to build strong employment pathway options for members and employees looking to embrace the industry.
Partnering with The Smith Family, the Diversity Council of Australia and others is on the agenda to keep members informed across all options to available employment and skilled labour locally as well as internationally.
“Although the proposal to overhaul the system and reduce complexity are welcomed, there are nevertheless aspects that require caution. Associated costs including the proposed lifting of the temporary skilled migration income threshold (TSMIT) to $70,000 will need to be scrutinised for potential detriment,” Northwood said.
“Further, the selection process for migrants needs to ensure it is truly informed and considers a broader range of skill sets and attributes than in the current system.
“The Government will need to undertake ongoing consultation with industry to ensure the overhaul results in appropriately beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders and finally that any priority to skilled migration does not override investment in local employee groups as well as skills and training.”
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